Your local SEO guide for 2021

Why local SEO is crucial for your business in 2021

local seo guide 2021

“Optimize, optimize, optimize”. You might be tired of hearing those words if you own a business or look after the digital side of a company.

However, if you’ve found this article then it’s probably something that you’re actively looking to improve.

Most people that own a website know that they need to use a meta description, H1, H2 tags and relevant keywords in order to improve their Google search rankings, and they might even have a few other SEO (search engine optimization) tricks up their sleeve.

But have you thought about the benefits of localised search?

Who needs local SEO?

Local SEO primarily benefits bricks and mortar businesses that serve the local community. However, any business should adopt the techniques local SEO offers in order to improve their overall rankings.

The businesses that should 100% be using local SEO include but are not limited to:

  • Plumbers
  • Cafes
  • Hairdressers
  • Bakeries
  • Construction workers
  • Any other “service-area businesses”

Why use local SEO?

You should be using local SEO because it favours smaller businesses over the likes of Amazon, therefore it gives you an opportunity to compete with corporate giants.

Investing your time and effort into localised SEO gives people in your community the chance to discover your business online, even if they have never heard of or seen your business in person before.

Once you crack the code with local SEO and serve more people in your geographic area, you will grow your business much faster.

Especially if you are a start-up, it is incredibly important to grab onto the support of your local community as most new businesses don’t make it past the first year. The locals could be your lifeline, so optimize yourself to reach as many as possible.

How to optimize your business for local SEO

Assuming you have already thought about your general SEO, the first thing you need to sort out is your Google My Business listing.

56% of businesses have not claimed their GMB listings, don’t be one of them.

Google My Business allows searchers to see a quick snapshot of all the vital information they need to locate and contact you.

GMB displays your:

  • Telephone number,
  • Address,
  • Opening hours,
  • Key service availability,
  • Photos
  • A new feature since the pandemic, Covid-19 business updates. Something every business requires with all the changing restrictions and rules.

Added keyword research is a great way of adding those local search terms that you might not have thought of when originally optimizing your website for search.

Use the “Service in Location” (SiL) rule to make this task easy.  For example, “hairdresser in Harrogate” or “gardeners in Yorkshire”.

You can also use Google Autocomplete to research alternate search phrases, commonly used location-based terms include:

  • near me
  • local
  • in my area
  • within 5 miles
  • city centre
  • independent
  • open near me
  • reopening
  • nearby

Other tips and tricks

Publishing frequent and relevant content will also help boost your local SEO, especially if you link to other local businesses within your content.

Use the “microblog” within GMB to keep searchers informed and update them on your ongoing activities.

Don’t just rely on Google, don’t forget about Yelp, Bing, and Apple Maps. These are all search engines people use regularly for local search.

Respond to reviews from clients and customers in order to show searchers that you care about their custom.

Make sure your website is optimized for mobile visitors, 61% of mobile searchers are more likely to make an enquiry or call you if your site is mobile friendly.

If you are a multi-location business, make sure you have landing pages for each venue’s location. Each of these landing pages should have the correct address, telephone number and title tag for each location.

What should you do now?

Now you are fully equipped to optimize (eugh that word again…) your local SEO, you can be on your way to making the most out of your local community!

But don’t forget, these are all tasks which require regular updating, you can’t just forget about them otherwise they will be minimally effective!

Stay organised and schedule in time at least once a fortnight to make any edits and ensure everything is performing as it should be!


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